‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’ Nominated for Best Musical 2017


We are very proud that our 2017 main show ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’ has been nominated for ‘Best  Musical 2017’ at this year’s NODA East Gala Awards.

This is our 3rd year in a row to receive a nomination in this category, with last year’s show ‘Return to the Forbidden Planet’ going on to win the award.

Cats: Intro evening on 6th February

Festival Players are very proud and very excited to be presenting the Cambridge premiere of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s CATS.

Performances will be at the Mumford Theatre, 7-16 June 2018, directed by Suzanne Emerson, with musical direction by Joe Griffiths.

The pre-audition evening will be on Tuesday 6th February at Christ the Redeemer Church, Newmarket Road, Cambridge, CB5 8RS. Starting at 7:30pm – all are welcome, just turn up!

Auditions dates are 13th, 15th, and either 17th or 18th February (TBC) with any recalls on 20th February. Booking for audition slots opens at the information evening.

This is a chance to be part of one of the most iconic and best loved musicals of all time. We’ll need a large company of performers of all ages and talents – this is not going to be just a high-kicking gymnasts, lycra and legwarmers show. Suzanne has some great and different ideas on presentation and interpretation!

The team are looking for a large company of all ages and talents, and auditions are open to those 16 and over.

So come to our information evening, meet the Production Team, find out about the parts, have a sing-a-long and get your audition booked. See you there!

Announcing the Tommy Thomas Award

At the 2017 AGM, in recognition of Brian ‘Tommy’ Thomas’ 43-year association with Festival Players – and to mark his retirement as chair of the society – the committee announced a new annual award – The Tommy Thomas Award.

Reflecting the qualities that Tommy has brought to Festival Players shows over the years, its subtitle is ‘I’m only in the chorus’!

The criteria for the award, created by Tommy himself, are as follows:

– A team member who progresses vocally as a result of being involved in the production
– A team player who gets on well with colleagues
–  One who shows determination when tackling new demands (harmony, for instance)
– A regular attender at rehearsals, arriving on time
– Evidence of consolidation – preparation time being spent at home
– Someone confident to seek help if in doubt

The award applies to our main summer show (where there is usually an ensemble), and will be decided by the musical director, with input from the director and choreographer as appropriate.

The first award will be given for Cats in June next year.

Our 2018 Summer Show is…

Festival Players is delighted to announce that its 2018 summer production will be:

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s CATS


Since conquering the West End in 1981, the musical based on the poems of T S Eliot has played around the world, with songs such as Memory, Mr Mistoffeles, Skimbleshanks, McAvity and Jellicle Cats seeping into the consciousness of theatre-lovers young and old.

The production will run from 7-16 June at the Mumford Theatre, Cambridge.

Festival Players is now seeking applications for the position of director. The performing licence calls for a fresh, new interpretation (rather than anything based on the original production design), so we’re looking for a visionary that can bring new ideas as we revive this iconic musical in the Cambridge area for the very first time.

Applications for director, outlining your vision, should be sent to secretary@festivalplayers.org by 31 October. Please also state your availability to meet the committee from 12-25 November.

2017 AGM – Sunday 12 November

The 2017 Festival Players AGM will take place on Sunday 12 November at 5.30pm at Christ The Redeemer, Newmarket Road, followed by a social catch-up with fellow members. Please bring along drinks and nibbles!

Christ The Redeemer has been used for recent rehearsals and can be found opposite Cambridge Techno Park, near the Ditton Lane turning on Newmarket Road. There is plenty of parking on site.

The AGM will be Tommy’s last as Chairman, so do come along to hear his last Chairman’s report in person!

We’ll also be electing our new committee including, for the first time in more than 30 years, a new Chair.

If you’d like to be considered for a position on the committee (including that of Chair), please review the ‘2017 AGM Notice and Agenda’ documentation below. Nominations for Chair must be received by 5 November, and for all other committee positions, the deadline is 12pm on Sunday 12 November.

Download 2016 AGM Minutes
Download 2017 AGM Notice and Agenda

We look forward to seeing you on Sunday 12th!

Brian ‘Tommy’ Thomas: A Musical Celebration

Festival Players past and present gathered at Ashburton Hall, St Faith’s School, Cambridge, on Saturday 30 September to celebrate the contribution of Brian ‘Tommy’ Thomas as he steps down as the society’s musical director, after more than 40 years.


From The Arcadians (1973) to Legally Blonde (2016), Tommy has been the musical driving force behind no fewer than 54 productions for Festival Players (and more than 120 productions for Cambridge-based societies as a whole).

The celebration event featured Festival Players from many of those shows, performing a hand-picked selection of Tommy’s favourite numbers, as well as a specially-choreographed interpretation of Harlequinade, an orchestral suite written by Tommy. Interspersed throughout were tributes, memories and anecdotes from friends old and new, including messages from those unable to make the evening itself.

The final number of the night saw Tommy lift his baton one more time, as he led the ensemble through his own arrangement of the Disney classic, When You Wish Upon A Star.

Tommy’s wife Linda presented him with a very special celebration cake (pictured above), praising his ‘patience, encouragement and dependability’. The committee also gifted him a photograph book, featuring pictures from almost all of his 54 productions, put together by Suzanne Emerson and Matt Gregory.

Audience and performers then raised a toast to Tommy to thank him for his inspiration, dedication, support and talent during his 43 years at the helm.

For more pictures from the night, visit the Festival Players Facebook Page.

Change of venue for Tommy’s event

Due to higher than anticipated advance ticket sales, we have changed the venue for Brian ‘Tommy’ Thomas: A Musical Celebration. The event will now take place on Saturday 30 September at St Faith’s School, Trumpington Road at 7.30pm.

All previously purchased tickets are still valid, and you should have received an email from We Got Tickets confirming this venue change.

An extra 40 tickets have now been released, but once they go, that’s it, so please buy now to avoid disappointment!

Tickets are £10 (to include a glass of fizz and some nibbles) and can be purchased via the Festival Players website. A cash bar will be available on the night.

The event will feature performers and hand-picked songs from Tommy’s time in the orchestra pit. We’ll also be including a special performance of Tommy’s own arrangements, to be conducted by the man himself.

It’s also very much a social occasion – the bar will be open before and after the performance, and there will be plenty of time for you to chat with Tommy and other Festival Players past and present.

We’re keen to invite anyone that has crossed musical paths with Tommy during his 40-year association with Festival Players, so please share this event with anyone who you think would be interested.

Still time to share a musical memory!
We could still do with a few more memories of your times with Tommy. We’ve some really entertaining ones to share, but there’s always room for more. Whether or not you can make the evening, if you have a tale to share, please contact me (Warren) via email as soon as possible.